Netflix’s ‘Seaspiracy’ Documentary Reveals Something Fishy

Photo Credit/Netflix

Brianna Gountis

Contributing Writer

Seafood lovers beware, Netflix’s ‘Seaspiracy’ will make you think twice about that delicious seafood dish. The popular documentary takes a deep look into the effects of the fishing industry.

In the 90-minute film released on March 24, documenter and director Ali Tabrizi goes to great lengths to talk with experts, oceanographers, and organization leaders to explore the corruption of the fishing industry and how it operates.

The film focuses on finding and defining “sustainable” fishing, and concludes that the fishing industry can never be made sustainable.

Every organization that claims to focus on safe and sustainable seafood refused interviews and asked Tabrizi to turn off his cameras. These organizations were also found to be making money off of mass fishing industries, sustainable or not.

With an extremely balanced inclusion of statistics, personal testimony, and personal investigation, ‘Seaspiracy’ shines light on how fishing has become a major factor in our environmental degradation and why every organization has become hesitant to address it.

Images of bleeding dolphins, skinned sharks, and fish being killed by the thousands made my stomach churn and made me regret eating even the best-tasting sushi.

In our current social climate, this film may be exactly what we need. While everyone chants “save the turtles” and cities begin to ban plastic bags, the largest producers of ocean pollution are protected by the government and overlooked by the people.

While reusable straws are a great direction to head in, the film points out that plastic straws make up .03% of all of the plastic in the ocean. In comparison, it points out that 46% of the waste in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is from plastic fishing nets.

In addition to environmental costs, the film digs further beneath the surface, and a human rights crisis washes up on the shores. 

While tracking the environmental impact of fishing, Tabrizi discovers that the industry has become reliant on slave labor.

In Thailand, there are thousands of boats staffed with slaves.

The film takes the viewer to a halfway home for escaped slaves in Bangkok, where Tabrizi delivers some of the most heartbreaking and shocking interviews with those who have escaped fishing slavery before being chased out of the home by the police.

These men have been slaves for up to a decade, and they all describe horrific scenes of abuse, suffering, and even murder, leading to irreparable trauma and heartbreak.

My heart broke when one man said that he was so depressed that he tried to attempt suicide three times on the ship.

These interviews, along with the proof of environmental damages caused by the fishing industry, reveal the real cost of seafood.

I would say that this film is certainly not for the faint of heart. Blood, murder, suffering, and more had me covering my eyes and crying at times.

However, if you feel that you can handle the gore and the deep levels of despair, I recommend that you watch this film and think twice about the seafood you consume and how it gets to your plate.

Email Brianna at:

bgountis@live.esu.edu

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